MANILA, Philippines — After denying the existence of the Davao Death Squad last year, a retiring police officer from Davao City confessed on Monday that it existed.
SPO3 Arthur Lascañas, the alleged team leader of DDS, directly linked President Rodrigo to the killings in Davao City when he was still its mayor.
He claimed that it was Duterte who ordered the killings and paid them for these.
In October last year, Edgar Matobato, a confessed killer and former member of DDS, testified before the Senate and claimed that the president himself founded DDS in 1988 and ordered the killings of criminals and opponents.
Here are the allegations of the two men:
Lascañas corroborated Matabato’s claim last year that Duterte ordered the bombing of mosques in Davao City in retaliation for the bombing of Davao Cathedral in 1993. He also claimed that they were paid P200,000 by a certain Major Macasaet for the attacks on the mosques.
“Isa po ako sa inutusan ni Mayor Rodrigo Duterte,” he told journalists.
Matobato last year said that DDS was divided into several groups to plan bombs and kill Muslims. The bombing of the San Pedro Cathedral of Davao City was bombed on Dec. 28, 1993. The explosion killed six people and injured 151 others.
Matobato also told the Senate panel that Duterte ordered the killing of broadcaster Jun Pala in 2003 because of the journalist’s hard-hitting commentaries against him when he was still mayor. Matobato told senators that the killing was ordered by Duterete through Lascañas.
Lascañas said that he was involved in the planning for the assassination of Pala. He claimed that a certain SPO4 Sonny Buenaventura, a trusted aid and driver of then Mayor Duterte, paid him P3 million for the job. He added that several months later he was given another P1 million as a bonus for the killing of the broadcaster.
“Ito po ang buong katotohanan sa Pala murder case. Isa ako sa nagpatay kay Jun Pala,” Lascañas said.
Lascañas also admitted being involved in the abduction and killing of Jun Barsabal, a former member of the Philippine Constabulary.
Matobato claimed last year that five mayors including Duterte wanted to have Jun Barsabal killed allegedly for grabbing and squatting on pieces of land in Davao.
Lascañas said that upon the arrest of Barsabal he was immediately presented to Duterte who berated him. After, Lascañas said, Duterte, speaking in Cebuano, ordered his execution .
Lascañas also said that Duterte paid the salary of a policeman who was suspended for the killing of Barsabal. He said that Duterte gave the policeman his assurance that he would be taken care of.
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